CareShield Life – Thirty is the New Old

If you’re wondering what CareShield Life is all about, especially because you are in your thirties or just hit the big three-zero, this article is for you.

CareShield Life is a long-term care insurance which provides a payout when the insured is severely disabled. You pay your premiums (check your premium rate here) via Medisave, and when you are assessed to be disabled, a monthly benefit will be paid as long as you are disabled.

  1. Compulsory for citizens and PRs born in 1980 or later
  2. Premiums payable by Medisave until age 67 or 10 years after you join the scheme, whichever is later
  3. Lifetime coverage, including pre-existing disabilities

According to Ministry of Health, 1 in 2 healthy Singaporeans aged 65 could become severely disabled in their lifetime. The elderly are more vulnerable to being disabled, which is why the previous scheme was called ElderShield. Yep, for those in their thirties like myself, we’re now enrolled under what used to be called ElderShield.

Feeling old yet?

To be fair, starting early stretches out the premium payment over a longer period of time to keep premiums more affordable. We are still young my fellow thirty-somethings 🥲

When and what does CareShield Life pay?

Of course, disabilities don’t happen only to old people. As long as a person is assessed to be disabled, he/she will receive the CareShield Life payout every month. A person is be deemed as “severely disabled” when he/she cannot perform at least three of the following six Activities of Daily Living (ADL):

The ability to wash in the bath or shower (including getting into and out of the bath or shower) or wash by other means.
The ability to put on, take off, secure and unfasten all garments and, as appropriate, any braces, artificial limbs or other surgical or medical appliances.
The ability to feed oneself food after it has been prepared and made available.
The ability to use the lavatory or manage bowel and bladder function through the use of protective undergarments or surgical appliances if appropriate.
Walking or Moving Around
The ability to move indoors from room to room on level surfaces.
The ability to move from a bed to an upright chair or wheelchair, and vice versa.
Source: Ministry of Health

When that happens, CareShield Life will pay out a monthly payment for as long as the insured is disabled. The payout is $600 in 2020, and will increase until the insured turns 67, or if a successful claim is made, in which case the payout will remain fixed for the duration of the payout.

The current rate of increase is 2% annually, which means the payout will be around $662 in 2025. After that, the rate of increase will be recommended by the CareShield Life Council.


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Upgrading using Medisave

$600 is a relatively low amount to have if one is disabled, and thus it is possible for one to upgrade his/her CareShield Life with one of three private insurers – Aviva, NTUC Income, and Great Eastern. The government also allows the use of Medisave to pay for the premiums of such supplementary plans up to $600 per year, after which any excess has to be paid for in cash.

Given that the use of Medisave is very limited and the cost of living with disability can be very high, upgrading is a prudent thing to do. I intend to write a comparison piece between the three providers, as well as the difference between this and other forms of disability coverage available in the market. Subscribe to my Telegram to be notified when the articles are up (alongside posts on great deals and really informative articles 😅).

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